KeyArena in Seattle is about to get the updates it needed about 10 years ago.
Billionaire businessman and Boston Celtics minority partner David Bonderman and Hollywood film producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who made films such as Pirates of the Caribbean, and TV shows such as the CSI franchises have joined the Seattle-based Oak View Group to renovate the city's arena, hoping to lure an NHL or NBA team.
Seattle mayor Ed Murray made the announcement outside the arena Wednesday.
With the recent NHL expansion, the Western Conference will have an odd number of teams, so this move could position Seattle to be in the running for expansion. The city would love to get an NBA franchise after losing the SuperSonics to Oklahoma City.
Murray told the Seattle Times that the renovations "will lead to the NHL sooner than the NBA. I believe the NBA has been pretty clear that their owners have a pretty good TV contract that, financially, they don’t want to break up at this point. I do think the NHL will be here sooner than the NBA. But I think both of them will be here. I think this is the arena that will get us here.”
The SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City after the 2008 season after the lease with KeyArena expired, but mostly because attempts to get the arena updated several years before had failed. The Sonics went to three NBA Finals in their history, winning the championship in 1979.
Bonderman graduated from the University of Washington. He is the founding partner of TPG Capital, and its Asian affiliate, Newbridge Capital and is listed by Forbes as having a net worth of $2.5 billion. Bruckheimer has made hundreds of millions in the movie business. He made a run at the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2006, with the idea of moving them to Las Vegas.